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BellaOnline's Women's Lit Editor

Nonfiction must-reads

Nonfiction books may bring to mind textbooks, and falling asleep. But today's nonfiction books for women and by women are anything but dull. It can take some researching and risk-taking to discover great nonfiction reads, but thankfully, here, the work has been done for you!

If you are new to nonfiction, but love true stories and enjoy some intellectual stimulation, give these a try, they read like fiction!

"Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women of K2" by Jennifer Jordan is adventure literature for those who love the outdoors, crave adventure, or want nothing to do with either but enjoy living vicariously through other's experiences! An intriguing read that is fun to discuss with others as you go.

"Operating Instructions" by Anne Lamott makes nearly everyone who reads it laugh, and cry. In her disarming style, Anne makes you feel like you know her like an old pal by the end of her real life stories on life, relationships and unorthodox take on faith. Among other topics, she muses over the deep cut of grief after losing a friend to breast cancer, raising her son as a single mom and coming to grips with the difficulties she has loving and accepting her own mom.

"Sick Girl" by Amy Silverstein is one girl's narrative through her journey through discovering she has a sick heart and requires a transplant. Though an intense topic, this book has a good ending, and one you close the book knowing really did happen in real life, not just make believe.

"Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Reunited" by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein is an adoption memoir that is about just what the title sounds like. Twins separated at birth into two different adopted families are reunited as thirty-somethings. Though they are grateful for the lives they were given, they begin a new relationship with their identical other half and relay their journey that led to this point. An interesting read.

"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls is a fabulous, often-times disturbing, read. Detailing the bizarre, neglectful life she had growing up with anti-establishment parents and three siblings, this memoir is enthralling. It is difficult to put down, and the mystery of how their turbulent lives come together in the end is a compelling enough reason to keep at it. The story ends beautifully, and is a great choice for book clubs, as there are so many details in the book that incite discussion.

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